Derek Davies - 'Revolutionary Soul'

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Derek Davies - 'Revolutionary Soul'

Sadly, I don't share the passion for this type of music and despite some killer rhythms it all leaves me rather cold.

Derek Davis is best known to all of us as the lead singer of LA's favourite bell ringers, Babylon AD. Davis has a rather fine voice which, unlike many of his contemporaries, has held up well since the heydays of the late eighties and early nineties. With this album, Davis steps into the Funk/Rhythm 'n' Blues area and away from the Hard Rock genre for which he's fondly remembered for by the Fireworks readers.

Now reviewing these types of albums – the ones out of left field – isn't easy because you've nothing to go on. You have little or no familiarity along with no sense of what's happening in that genre itself. More to the point, you also have no idea why a guy with a golden set of pipes has chosen to step a million miles outside of his comfort zone and venture into a genre in which possibly only Glenn Hughes has any type of serious recognition.

'Rapture' is a pretty good track with Funky rhythms and Davis wailing like a white James Brown. The cover of Stevie Windwood's 'Valerie', now attributed to Amy Winehouse, is next up for the treatment. Is it good? I've no idea. Is it bad? I've no idea. It just is and frankly I have heard far better versions that have appealed to me more over the years. 'Think About It', however, is a decent step up in class, but I will say despite Davis' powerful voice, it's not a Soul/Funk type voice and you find yourself saying "this sounds wrong". It's kind of like you are just waiting for him to let rip over a juicy riff. 'Woman's Gotta Have It' is another big step up in class with its breezy sway complete with some "oooh" and "aaah" backing vocals which marks it firmly in late seventies territory.

All in all, as much as I am not a fan of this type of music, Derek Davis has shown himself to have a rather large pair by stepping outside of his comfort zone of distortion and sing-along choruses to deliver, no doubt, something that he is very proud of. Sadly, I don't share the passion for this type of music and despite some killer rhythms it all leaves me rather cold. I look forward to September when the new Babylon AD album hits the shelves and he returns to more familiar ground.

Kieran Dargan

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